JHS Pedals has a tasty treat for your pedalboard with its Big Cheese clone

(Image credit: JHS Pedals)

JHS Pedals has unveiled the Cheese Ball, a clone of the Lovetone Big Cheese distortion/fuzz stompbox that was big in the '90s and now is one of the most sought-after cult guitar effects pedals.

The Big Cheese could count the likes of the Edge, Jimmy Page, Kevin Shields and the late Gary Moore among its fans, with an original pedal currently commanding around £649 in the used gear market.

As great as it sounds, over 600 sheets is a lot for a pedal. Well, the JHS Pedals' Cheese Ball is built to get you that tone and for an altogether more reasonable price of £179 street. 

As JHS' big cheese Josh Scott said of the Big Cheese clone, in between mouthfuls of Cheez Balls, his clone was "meticulously replicated" from an original 1995 LoveTone Big Cheese, and he "did it with precise detail and didn’t trust any of the currently available online schematics.”

So the Cheese Ball comes with an all-new repro circuit, a smaller enclosure, too, but with similar controls to help season your tone with the distortion/fuzz you want.

There are four knobs on the enclosure – volume, gain and tone are self-explanatory, while the mode selector control selects between four gain voices.

In the "off" position, the pedal's tone control is taken out of play for a "bright and trashy fuzz/distortion sound." In the first position, you've got some Big Muff-vibe going on, in the second the mids are a bit more front-and-centre, while position 3 offers a really nasty gated fuzz tone, and let's face it, sometimes really nasty is just what you need from your gain.

The Cheese Ball is available to pre-order now from the usual online retailers and ships late October.

And keep track of all that's going on at the JHS HQ here.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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